Our society attaches a direct relationship between a person’s language skills and their intelligence. So, an immigrant’s immediate problem lies in fighting against that stereotype. As a kid though it was hard to muster enough willpower to let this just pass through me. So for the majority of the time in my life, I believed myself to be inferior in intelligence even when others directly commented otherwise, or when the evidence proves otherwise. What is intelligence really? Let’s temporarily put it as “how smart you sound like” when debating any particular subject with anybody… where am I going with this? One of my major problems in conversations.
The idea that everyone else is smarter than me went through several evolution in my life. It started with everyone being smarter, to everyone has their own unique contribution to finally everyone being equal in intelligence. Some are just better at certain subjects. All of this has one consequence and that is, I treat everyone as superior and go all out, nothing held back during my conversations. To most people, I must sound like a snobby prick but to some, they openly admit that they are not as smart as me (which I didn’t believe).
What I have understand now is that not everyone spent their whole life in pursuit of new knowledge. Not everyone can carry out a conversation in any subject and not everyone is interested in pursuing knowledge. What I learned though is that I need to shape my conversations to the person’s needs and education level, just like politicians write their speech catering to high school English level. But I can’t do that, without admitting fundamentally that I am more intelligent/knowledgeable about certain subject than most people.
A drug dealer is still going to be infinitely smarter than me about drug consumption and dealing drugs, but I can still help on marketing and finances.